Talk show king Graham Norton has been moonlighting as a winemaker, and his Sauvignon Blanc is anything but your standard celebrity wine. Rather than just lend his name to a brand, Norton has personally created an award winning Sauvignon Blanc, now on sale across Australia exclusively through BWS.
Norton’s blend has already enjoyed enormous success around the world, selling over 400,000 bottles in the six months since release – making it one of the most successful celebrity wine collaborations ever.
Graham Norton’s Own Sauvignon Blanc is the product of New Zealand’s most innovative winemaker, Invivo. To create the wine, the entire wine blending setup – measuring jugs, pipettes, tasting glasses and of course a selection of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc pressings – was flown* from Marlborough, New Zealand to London so Graham could add his “Norton Hemisphere” magic. Norton’s blend combines grapes from three of the region’s growers, and was created under the watchful eye of Invivo’s Chief Winemaker and Co- Founder, Rob Cameron.
Invivo Co-Founder Tim Lightbourne says, “We’ve been blown away by the global success of Graham Norton’s Own Sauvignon Blanc, and I know he can’t wait to see how it goes down with his Aussie fans now that it’s on the shelf nationally at BWS. You can now spend your Friday night watching the Graham Norton Show on TV, with a glass of his wine!”
Invivo’s relationship with Graham Norton didn’t happen out of nowhere. That wine he’s enjoyed with his A-list chat show guests since 2011? Invivo Sauvignon Blanc. Invivo winemaker Rob Cameron says, “Graham is a huge Invivo fan and recently even became a shareholder in our winery. Our dealings with him showed us he really knows wine. So this year we thought we’d put him in the driver’s seat”. When talking about his winemaking role Norton said, “When the guys asked me if I wanted to get involved in the wine making process I jumped at the chance!” Lightbourne adds, “The process has been a great fit with the Invivo brand. We’re all about authenticity and we didn’t want the bottle to just have his name on the label, so we love that Graham wanted to get personally involved to this degree. And he’s come up with a bloody good drop!”
And how does it taste? Well, in the words of new Chief Winemaker Graham Norton, “It’s lovely! Tropical fruit, a bit of zing… cheers to that!”
Since release, Graham’s blend has won an array of awards including a Double Gold medal at the 2015 China Wine and Spirit Awards, Asia’s largest wine show, and four silver medals across the International Wine & Spirit Competition, International Wine Challenge, International Aromatics Show and Marlborough Wine Show. Graham Norton’s Own Sauvignon Blanc was also a Finalist Wine of the Year for Winestate Magazine.
Two mates and a good idea: the Invivo story
Invivo was founded by old school mates Tim Lightbourne and Rob Cameron eight years ago when the two of them got together in a bar in London to talk wine. Invivo always believed in the power of creating a strong brand, so they decided then and there to build a business that let them do that, and have fun along the way. Invivo Wines has since become one of New Zealand’s fastest-growing wine brands, with 207% sales growth since 2011, and with a southern hemisphere record equity crowdfunding campaign ($2million NZD in eight days), they’re making wine that’s winning fans and medals around the world.
Graham Norton’s Own Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Vintage: 2015
BWS AUS RRP: $20
Winemaker: Graham Norton (with Rob Cameron looking on nervously)
Tasting note: “That’s it, my perfect blend…and it’s lovely, tropical fruit, a bit of zing…cheers to that!” Graham Norton
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by Arrnott Olssen
Editor Rogue Homme